U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) and Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) want the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, instead of the EPA, to be in charge of stopping environmental damage at West Lake Landfill. They have reintroduced a bipartisan bill that would require the change. Representatives Lacy Clay (D-Missouri) and Ann Wagner (R-Missouri) have also introduced bipartisan companion legislation in the U.S. House.
The introduction of the proposals come within days of hearing that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt plans to announce soon a clean-up plan for West Lake. Pruitt, who was sworn into office earlier this year, says it’s unacceptable that his agency does not yet have a plan to clean up the site.
The St. Louis area landfill contains about 100,000 tons of WW II era nuclear weapons contamination. An underground fire at the nearby Bridgeton Landfill, which has been burning since at least 2010, is making its way toward the radioactive material at West Lake.
Homes near West Lake Landfill have tested positive for radioactive materials.
Residents who live or have lived in the area have reported a host of health problems, including cancer, child deformities, autoimmune disease and some cannot have children.
Historically, the EPA has maintained that the waste does not create public health risks.